February 2005 Archives

February 22, 2005

Ketai Vyuun!!!

BEST INVENTION EVER? It's pretty close. Simple genius, man.

International Soap Addict

I've gone and done it...I've fallen for a Korean Drama.

It was bound to happen. I was fresh off of two novelas on Telemundo, in a new country with lots of time on my hands, and,well, this one is so cute!!!

쾌걸춘향(roughly translated by me as "Carefree Girl, Chun Hyang") is a teen-oriented drama loosely based on the traditional Korean historical story, Chunhyang. In the original story there's a guy and a girl who fall in love but the guy's parents move or something and he goes off to take the exam to become an official. His girl stays true to him, even though the governor has his sights on her. When he realizes he can't have her, he really punishes her--to the point of sentencing her to be executed. Her suitor returns as a peasant, she professes her love to him from prison, and he saves her from death on her execution day (he actually passed the exam with flying colors and became an undercover corruption-buster for the emperor). They get together, happy ending.

I had heard about the show but hadn't seen it until they aired a rerun yesterday. Frulwinn and I liked it so much, that when she told me it was on today, I was there. In this modern day tale, Myong Lyong and Chun Yang are hip kids in Seoul, where she works in a jewelry shop and designs pieces as a passion. The bad governor is now a media bigshot who has his eyes set on her and won't take no. Again, it's LOOSELY based, but just enough to make it work without you knowing exactly what's going to happen.

Tonight was the episode where they part ways. Instead of Myong Long leaving for educational reasons, he and Chun Hyang are pitted against each other by the bad dude and end up breaking on bad terms. She goes to leave with bad dude while her beau drinks away his sorrows. His friend does him a good deed and she softens her heart to him, but only while he's passed out. By the time they both seek out each other, they've crossed paths and actually are in two buses to two different towns sitting right next to each other at a traffic light (only in Korean drama). They miss each other even then, and so the story stays true to the original tale.

They also do this silly thing at the end of each episode where the story reverts back to the old-fashioned one, but there's always something to throw it off. Yesterday they're in old traditional clothes in an old traditional setting talking when one guy's cellphone goes off; this week Myong Lyong's making a emperial seal--but instead of chiseling the features he just uses a marker. =o]

So as you can see, I'm hooked. I think there's a way to watch the episodes online, but all the info is in Korean (obviously) so seek out your friendly Korean friend and ask them if they know about 쾌걸춘향!!!

February 21, 2005

Webbed Wrap-up

I've decided to approach my web findings a little differently.

In my world, I drop interesting links into my bookmark folder to be reviewed and sorted at a later date(usually Mondays and Fridays). Then, I periodically go through and read, sort and/or drop them. Tangentally, I've got a bookmarks folder that you wouldn't believe. Not in the least bit cluttered, either.

In Leftsider, as a direct result of this new schedule, I'll probably post most web findings in groups rather than individual entries. The only exception is if there's something exceptional(duh) or if I'd like to comment/wax philosophical.

Well it's Monday, so here goes:


BBC NEWS: Released Palestinians return home
Quite possibly the most boring headline I've read this year. Luckily I heard the news elsewhere; there's no way that title would have piqued my interest enough to merit a click.
Baby stable after second head removed
Now here's the exact opposite; I couldn't click fast enough. I'm having a moral crises right now whether to feel sad for the other head; it had no body, lungs, stomach....but was "...capable of smiling and blinking..."OMG!!!
Wired News: Office Sweeties Have No Secrets
Tell me something I don't know. I know people on both sides of that story, so it's not an exception, people; it's a fact. Save it for home...
Gizmodo: Paris Hilton's Sidekick II Hacked (AGAIN)
I have a soft spot for this girl. She's enviously rich, spoiled rotten, and seemingly clueless to everyday reality. Yet I find something about her sweet, kind and charming. Plus I totally stole my current word "hot" from her a la Simple Life Season 1. Still, fool me twice....? All said, her mobile pics gallery is 35x better than anyone else's I've seen...NSFW BOOBIES!!!

Got any info? let a brother know.

February 18, 2005

Why my grandma is better than yours

QUEEN MARGIE OF HARRINGTON says: Hey Dude

Leftsider says:
hey dudette

QUEEN MARGIE OF HARRINGTON says:
I have not caught up with you lately

Leftsider says:
i know. i'm a busy man full of mystery and intrigue.

QUEEN MARGIE OF HARRINGTON says:
I know what you are full of

Leftsider says:
hahaha

The fact that my 75-year old grandma is instant messaging with me everyday is reason enough. She still hasn't figured out how to change the screenname I gave her, though. Heh.

February 16, 2005

I'm not sure which to be sad about...

News from the slow train to Daegu

Last weekend I found out that 명호 (english name: Onyx), the institute's junior pastor, was graduating this week. This surprised me, mostly because prior to this announcement I never even knew he was attending school. Apparently, he finished his studies in December.

For me, a graduation is a very big thing. It's a major accomplishment, and it's the end of one era and the start of a new (and completely insipid) one.

More importantly, I've started to have a different view of graduations in the last few years. At first I thought they were long and boring. As I grew, they were a great opportunity to people-watch ("people" often meaning "females"). But more recently, as I now have turned the 4-year bachelor program into an 8-year debacle, I look longingly at the caps and gowns, tassels, and diplomas--wondering if, ever, I will experience in the first person.

Anyway, when I asked 명호 when and where his graduation was, he looked surprised. I didn't think it was that big of a deal, but he was really floored that I was interested, so I decided to follow through.

Continue reading News from the slow train to Daegu.

February 15, 2005

Darn you, Kim Jong Il!!!

Caption Contest

Man that's a great picture and I can't think up a single funny thing.

February 13, 2005

More lusting of mechanical objects

The New York Times reviews Sony's 3-chip, HD camera that costs $3,000. While not the definitive source on rating production gear, I felt the Times gave enough of the tech specs to answer the initial questions of the budding filmmakers to whom Sony is marketing to while cracking enough bad jokes and explaining enough jargon to demystify the parents of budding film
guys who are asking for three grand.

My biggest interest in this camera is wondering whether it will make the PD150 obsolete--or at least cheaper (since I still want one).

February 12, 2005

Blog Pet こうさぎ

Not often that I find something that no one else has mentioned....especially when it comes to web. Well, hopefully Google translator can help me out so I can be the first one on the block to have my very own blog pet.

February 11, 2005

Something beautiful, for a change.

In pictures: Africa Remix

A beautiful collection of amazing art worth noting, especailly since in comes from one of the most beautiful places that I've ever been that you never hear beautiful things about.

I'm feeling a wave of creativity and ingenuity cresting, so I'm absorbing all the beautifully unique thinking that I can these days. This one is thanks to Fru. Be nice to her; she's a new blogger. heh.

For this, I could've shipped them here.

About two months ago I sold my DJ equipment. But apparently, two months isn't enough for closure.

Continue reading For this, I could've shipped them here..

February 9, 2005

Could it be destiny speaking?

Budding cyber love ends in divorce

Wow. What are the chances of that happening?

February 8, 2005

He 방s, He방s!!!

Whenever I go to Seoul I hit up the Cyberria near Hoegi Station. It was my first PC방 in Korea, and it's currently still my favorite. Whenever I go, I'm usually there enough that the staff has a good time trying a few english words on me, helps me with some korean tech isues, and mercilessly watches me wonder how to play all of the fantastic games that everyone else is playing around me.

This time it was like my second home, and a lot less lonely. The guest housing I was provided with was a small spartan room in a quite large 4-bedroom bi-level apartment with no other guests, no tv or radio. So naturally, I probably spent more time at Cyberria than normal.

This time, though, I gathered enough courage to pester the staff slightly more than usual, which they seemed to rather enjoy. At first, I wanted to try and get a login ID for a korean gaming site. One of the guys stopped when he saw me struggling through the hangul and helped me fill out the registration. Unfortunately, you have to put your civilian number in (is this like a SSN? Because I find this unbelievable that they would need this so i can play online go-kart racing....) and the number on my alien registration card wasn't accepted. Man, I knew Koreans looked out for their own, but this is ridiculous!

After that, they gave me a little more license. I was able to do a little more, like a regular would, and they'd come around periodically to see if I was ok. Last night, a girl helped me with yet another attempt at making an ID for a game--this time one that I found on the PC's desktop. I asked her what I needed to put in a certain textbox and within a few clicks she had me up an running.

That's right folks, for the first time I've actually played a Korean online game. It was way cheesy but, ultimately, fun. The game (whose name I have forgotten) involves picking a chibi-styled character to drop water balloons. The impending splash breaks nearby blocks, which sometimes reveals special items. While you're doing this, the computer (or other online players) are doing the same thing, clearing the board to face you armed with item-enhanced balloons. First one hit, loses.

I was initially disappointed with the simple mission, but ultimately was sucked in to the online play and the cuteness of the thing. I ended up wasting an hour or two on it. Plus, I was so happy to have an actual game going I didn't want to close it. =o]

I think there's a Cyberria near here in Siji; maybe I'll have to make a trip and see if they're as cool.

This is how freelancing usually is.

So I'm back in Daegu. That's South Korea, not some coincidentally-named place in Thailand. I ended up having a pretty lame time in Seoul, and, as a result, not going after all. Details after the hump.

Continue reading This is how freelancing usually is..

Mashin' on the Motorway

4 year old drives car to video store and back!

Cute story. If you've got high-speed, check out the news clip linked at the bottom for a good chuckle.

February 6, 2005

Online gaming in Korea

Online gaming in Korea is like nothing else I've ever seen. I was trying to come up with a witty comparison to something in the US or another country but it's just not possible. There's nowhere else where you can have so many people--men, women, children, seniors--involved in one thing with so much fervor.

I've been trying to get "an in" into the scene since, say, the second day I got here. Unfortunately, most programs here are entirely in Korean, making it difficult for me to make my own way.

Then, after a month of searching I found this site. I nearly wet myself with joy, even though they only offer four games converted into english for FREE online play.

Imagine my disappointment when I couldn't download the games! Some type of FTP error....I can't tell since I'm not that fluent in Korean yet. But rest assured. I won't stop trying. If anyone out there has "an in" on the Korean gaming world, let a brother know.

This is how freelancing should be.

Currently in Seoul....alone and in my favorite PCbaang.

I got a call last week from someone kvetching about the horrible job a drifting freelance web guy did in creating a website for an organization. Long story short, I'm waiting now to buy a ticket to Bangkok and fix the problem in person. That's right, I got a freelance job in Thailand.

I should be there no more than a week. And hopefully the laptop will have a nice little connection to plug into so there'll be no shortage on posts. Fru's kinda bummed since this is the first time I'll be away from her for this long since we've been married--she always gets like this the first time I do something, but she'll be fine.

Anyway, be checking Flickr for pics of Bangkok in the next few days.

February 3, 2005

My first public bath experience

Most of the people who are familiar with Korea that I've spoken with invariably ask me if I've been to the public bath (aka: sauna, 찜질방). There are many reasons for this, but it's mostly because it requires being completely naked around complete strangers (who are also naked). Read my experience after the hump.

Continue reading My first public bath experience.

You try to do good....

...and it comes back to bite you. This week I checked my bank account and found that my old job had paid me. Well, the 17th of December was my last physical day, followed by a week's vacation. I got paid just before we left, and when I got another paycheck, that seemed enough. This extra check was an apparent oversight.

Late last night I called the office, which apparently holds me in high regard, and talked with some old associates for a bit before dropping the news. After being transferred to the accounting department, I repeated my story and sat pensively through a long pause.

"....You are SO honest!" The accounting lady finally replied. "You could've just taken the money, and--let me check here--you would have continued getting paid, too."

Well I was kinda proud by this point, but then she continued to investigate. After looking up my termination date, she concluded, "Actually, you got TWO extra checks." Apparently, my last day was halfway through a pay period, which meant that the other week of vacation filled the first check and there was no need for another payment--all the checks I received this month were extraneous.

This put me in a pickle, because most of the previous check was already gone. Taking both back now would leave me rubbing pennies until the end of the month. I explained to the accounting lady that I was a poor college student abroad with no real income so she was graceful enough to work with me on the earliest check. I'll probably pay in installments or something.

So now, instead of just honestly returning money, I acquired a lender who I have to pay back. Great. Owing a couple grand was exactly how I wanted to wake up this morning.

February 2, 2005

Hardness and the lime taste are very very fresh

I don't know what it is, but if a software company makes it a part of their website, I gotta laugh--and share!
USA vs. JAPAN Food Review Battle

Not Mac Mini, Mac Many

Mac Mini -- More Than Meets the Eye

I've been having this conversation with a few people; Is the Mac Mini as innocent as it seems? Most of my hardcore 'puter users are pretty keen on the Mini adn give it praise. Then there are the avid PC users who nearly fall over talking about how lame it is, an how no one using PC would switch when they'd have to buy a mouse, keyboard, and monitor (Question: what's wrong with the ones they already have?). I was almost ready to buy one myself as a solution to a problem I've been trying to solve--an external drive that could be connected directly to our router--so our laptops stayed wireless.

I think that is exactly where the Mac Mini fits in and really does its damage; it's not a one-stop computer solution; rather, it's makes itself an important component to a working equation--and at a incredibly decent price.

Mac Mini Auto--wirelessly uploading from my home computer? Now I need a garage....

February 1, 2005

La condicion de Senor Leftsider

Ok so since it's been a while, there have been quite a few changes in my status, location, and modus operandi. I'm assuming you know that I'm no longer in the US. if not (or if you're just nosy), read on.

Continue reading La condicion de Senor Leftsider.

Back in Busy-ness

Well it's been butt forever but I'm back. And now that I am comment spam-free, the comments are back on.

Hey, if you're wise you'll just go ahead and get a TypePad key now....that way if the nasties come and I decide to clamp down on commenting, you'll still be able to post without interruption.

I'm really looking forward to posting again...hope you'll enjoy reading.